Last week I blogged on the huge $1.1 Billion Toyota settlement. I got a lot of comments on how the fees are excessive. I want to make my analysis clear. First $200 million in legal fees is HUGE! Second, Hagens Berman, LLP deserves every penny!
Without that type of a payout, how can anyone ever expect a lawyer or law firm to use their money to fight a giant like Toyota? You don’t think they paid $100 million in fees to their lawyers? You don’t think they pay hundreds of millions of dollars on engineers to defend their company? You don’t think that type of work goes into resolving a multi-year litigation and get such a settlement? No one understands the costs and fees a firm must invest to fight a corporate giant, especially an auto manufacturer. This is not the movie The Verdict, where one drunk lawyer gets lucky with a key witness. No my friends, Hagen Berman had a fleet of experts, associate lawyers, partners, paralegals and others on the case for years. I am 100% positive their costs were in the millions! Given the time and investment and huge risk, $200 million is a fair payout. Without that payout, no one in their right mind would ever take on the giant.
We, let’s call us the "normal people.” We have NO SHOT at fighting any “Industry,” like the Insurance Industry, the Automobile Industry, the Medical Industry, the Manufacturing Industry, the Farming Industry or any other large corporate body, without the contingency fee lawyer who is willing to on the risk to make the money. Without the reward no one would spend money on your case instead of their own family.
Another little fact is that the big payout is on your pain and suffering damages. If you let the politicians take that away, the life of the normal citizen is worth almost squat to the large corporation. If you limit your damages to your out of pocket lost wages and a cap your pain and suffering then you aren’t worth saving to the corporate amoral thought process. So beware my friends, Republican and Democrats alike, supporting Tort Reform is only going to hurt you when it is you or your family that are hurt due to Toyota making faulty accelerators, or when a light bulb explodes, or when a hospital cuts off the wrong leg.